Where is Ann Melody’s flight refund? Her airline canceled her flight and she asked for her money back, but it’s been four months. How long is too long?
Q: I booked a flight from Chicago to Zagreb, Croatia, on FlightNetwork.com, recently. The charge was posted on my credit card in February 2018. Eight months later, I received an email from FlightNetwork saying my flight was canceled, but that I could change my flight to the day before or the day after my planned departure. That did not work for my schedule.
A FlightNetwork representative told me I could get a complete refund and it would take 30 to 60 days. It’s been four months and I still have not received the refund. I have emailed FlightNetwork repeatedly, and they have apologized for the delay, but I still haven’t received a refund.
I would like a refund to my credit card for $712.39, as promised by FlightNetwork. Can you help me?
— Ann Melody, Ottawa, Illinois
A: If your flight was canceled, you’re owed a prompt refund. Four months is way too long.
First, if an airline cancels your flight, you’re entitled to a refund according to the Department of Transportation — regardless of the reason for the cancellation. If an airline offers you an alternative flight and you accept it, then it gets to keep your money.
If a refund is due, the airline must forward a credit to your card within seven business days after receiving a complete refund application. But the credit may take a month or two to appear on your statement.
You were way past that point.
Further complicating your case: FlightNetwork had cobbled together an itinerary with several airlines, including Lufthansa, KLM and Croatia Airlines. Sometimes, refund requests across several carriers can take longer even though they shouldn’t. After all, they took your money in seconds.
I think a brief, friendly email to FlightNetwork might have moved your refund along. Or, at least you might have received an update on your refund. I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the FlightNetwork executives on my consumer advocacy site.
Christopher Elliott is the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine and the author of “How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler.” You can read more travel tips on his blog, elliott.org, or email him at email@example.com.
— King Features Syndicate, Inc.